Acts 22:1

Brethren and fathers (Andre adelpoi kai patere) Men, brethren, and fathers. The very language used by Stephen ( 2 Corinthians 7:2 ) when arraigned before the Sanhedrin with Paul then present. Now Paul faces a Jewish mob on the same charges brought against Stephen. These words are those of courtesy and dignity (amoris et honoris nomina, Page). These men were Paul's brother Jews and were (many of them) official representatives of the people (Sanhedrists, priests, rabbis). Paul's purpose is conciliatory, he employs "his ready tact" (Rackham). The defence which I now make unto you (mou th pro uma nuni apologia). Literally, My defence to you at this time. Nuni is a sharpened form (by -i) of nun (now), just now. The term apologia (apology) is not our use of the word for apologizing for an offence, but the original sense of defence for his conduct, his life. It is an old word from apologeomai, to talk oneself off a charge, to make defence. It occurs also in Acts 25:16 and then also in 1 Corinthians 9:3 ; 2 Corinthians 7:11 ; Philippians 1:7 Philippians 1:16 ; 2 Timothy 4:16 ; 1 Peter 3:15 . Paul uses it again in Acts 25:16 as here about his defence against the charges made by the Jews from Asia. He is suspected of being a renegade from the Mosaic law and charged with specific acts connected with the alleged profanation of the temple. So Paul speaks in Aramaic and recites the actual facts connected with his change from Judaism to Christianity. The facts make the strongest argument. He first recounts the well-known story of his zeal for Judaism in the persecution of the Christians and shows why the change came. Then he gives a summary of his work among the Gentiles and why he came to Jerusalem this time. He answers the charge of enmity to the people and the law and of desecration of the temple. It is a speech of great skill and force, delivered under remarkable conditions. The one in chapter Acts 26:1 ff covers some of the same ground, but for a slightly different purpose as we shall see. For a discussion of the three reports in Acts of Paul's conversion see chapter Acts 9:1 ff. Luke has not been careful to make every detail correspond, though there is essential agreement in all three.